You can press fresh cut flowers in order to keep them around for longer than normal. Press fresh cut flowers with help from a landscape designer and horticulture writer in this free video clip.
Hi, I'm Marci Degman, the aspiring gardener, and we're going to talk about how to press cut flowers. I have a good old flower press that I've pulled out that I haven't used for a long time. It's the simplest process but you don't have to have a flower press but you can see how simple the construction is if you do want to do it this way. One of the nice things about a wooden flower press like this is that even if you have layers of material between the flowers, there's always moisture and you don't have to worry about hurting the flower press. The difference between that and a book is that you'd want to protect the book. So if you don't have a flower press and you don't want to make one you can use a heavy book and a lot of times what I'll do is I'll layer it with different things like paper. This is nice because it doesn't have any ink on it. But you want to really layer it thick because you don't want to ruin your book, unless you have an old book that you don't care about, you will get a ripple in the pages. So the big thing is to protect your book if you're going to go this route. And what I've done before is I'll take a large book and then I'll put two or three larger books on top so you have a really heavy press. The thing about a flower press is that you can screw it down tight and then you don't have to worry about heavy things. So the process of doing this is to take any kind of a cut flower that you feel by looking at the dimensions that it can, it will look good flat. There are some flowers that are just too thick. You'll never get them flat. But this is a bleeding heart and it definitely is doable so what I'm going to do and you can use paper towels. You can use napkins, newspaper is great outside of that because it can absorb a lot of moisture and it's recyclable and we have it around but just don't put it right next to the flower because the ink can transfer onto the flower. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to start out with paper that's next to the flower that is not inked and you want to kind of arrange it a little bit so it will flatten however it is you want it to look later. Now I like to have the foliage so I'm going to kind of flatten that down so it will stay and I'm going to have a little bit more. If you want to use it for crafts and artwork, think about what it is you're going to do. A lot of people like to put them inside of a frame with glass and do an arrangement like that and you may want to have a bunch of leaves in the background, whatever it is you want to do, get those in there and then I'm going to put this piece of paper down. Now that's going to absorb a lot of the moisture but I'm going to want to layer it. The more you can absorb moisture, the faster they're going to dry. So I'm going to put a layer of newspaper next and then all I would do with this press is put it back down. So once you get that down you can use wing nuts, it would probably be easier. I have you know just some bolts and I just go tighter and tighter until I get it as tight as I possibly can and what I'm going to do at that point is maybe once a week I can pull that off and take a look and just keep checking it. You can replace the paper if you want it to go faster but you'll be able to tell when they're dry. I have some flowers here that I dried because I wanted to be able to identify some seeds that I collected. So I've got some bottlebrush. So you can see these were pretty thick but they came out pretty flat and they held their color really well. So different flowers are going to do better than others but you can experiment. A lot of people like to do things like violets and little tiny flowers first just to see what they'll do. Now if you're going to use your book you do the very same thing, layer the newspaper, layer the other paper, either the newsprint like I have or you can use paper towels, napkins, lay that down, place anything heavy on top actually and that's all you have to do to press flowers.
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